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Posts tagged ‘Visual Art’

Watercolor Wednesday

bbike

Back to some purely gestural sketches.   Quick and fun to make.

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Blood and Vapor:Communion

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Oil on Wood 10″x18″

Not as gloomy as it appears, I chose the bird metaphor to offer affinity with all living things.  This is the last (perhaps) of the smaller works. I’m now challenging myself with very large paintings with a less specific focus than the small pieces.  So far, I’ve experienced lots of trial and error attempts with them. I may finally be gaining on them:)

I will not whine again about photographing shiny oil work, but this painting is so much stronger in person.  On the flip side,  the WP snow is perfect!

*A new series, “Blood And Vapor”.:   Who lingers within you?   Have you ever felt an ancestral presence?  The inescapable tie of family:hundreds of individuals, yesterday and today, here and gone.  A powerful resonance or inconspicuous vapor?

Watercolor Wednesday

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Worried bunny.

A big, impressed “Thank you” to “as long as I’m singing” for a fabulous story based on a recent Watercolor Wednesday post.  You’ll find Troy’s “Happy Feet” right  here.

Watercolor Wednesday

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Piggy tricks;)

Watercolor Week

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This week I’m breaking the form.   For the next seven days  I’ll be posting watercolor sketches while I continue to work on new projects.

Not to worry about commenting on each post.  I love hearing from you, but I don’t wish to make a pest of myself.  Hope you find one of the seven that speaks to you.

Metamorphosis

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Another magical palette creature.   Fortunately, this little caterpillar made telepathic contact just before I swiped him with a paper towel.  Now with the aid of Photoshop, he will metamorphosize in cyberspace:)

Divide Series 4

bdividestunnedpsdOil on canvas preliminary for the Divide Series

bdivide4With a glaze of white, parting the planes.

Experiments In Oil#3

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I LOVE to paint portraits, people, figures, gestures.  In the hands of a skilled and thoughtful artist, Old Master or contemporary, there is no subject more compelling for me  than a portrait.  But, paintings of people can sometimes leave me less than satisfied.  They can sometimes appear to me, too pretty, or too gimmicky, too separate from the viewer, or too…vacant.  I wondered what would happen if I pushed all of these notions?  So, I did.

With this third painting, I decided to glaze with opacity (a paradoxical notion), in order to create a ceiling, if you will.  A separation between subject and viewer, like the photos I’d taken of debris, still, under a frozen pond.  This painting is no longer a portrait because it does not reflect what I know about my subject. Here, she is merely reference for a painting. It speaks for me, not for her.  Got to say however, that I enjoy this outcome:)

The three experiments in oils have helped me come to some conclusions about the way I like to work, what practical methods I find satisfying, and the thought behind what I want to make. I think that now I’d like to further explore both my appreciation for portraiture and my personal prejudices about portraiture, to see what might happen next.

Thanks for your kind comments and interest!  I’ll keep you posted;)

Working Together 3

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Part 3: The Woodpile

Cath’s original photo casts a spell of the sanctified. My figures are paying homage.

This is the final piece from me, in collaboration with Cath at  Settle and Chase.  Hope you enjoyed the images as much as we enjoyed making them.

Digital Doubles

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A wild wind blew through my neighbor’s yard, causing a very long piece of packing plastic to take to the sky and dance.  Naturally, I shot many photos of the performance. Later, I pulled the images into Photoshop and positioned them one atop the other to create the image below. Then, I sampled areas of the image that I found pleasing.

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Overlay

Watercolor Wednesday

This is creature week.  They are sullen and unnerving, sporting giant ears.  I have no idea why.

I tweaked digitally, just a little bit.

Sketchbook: Guarding The Nest

Another collage: revitalizing torn, discarded monotypes-line via pen and ink.

 

Sketchbook Sci-Fi

I’m clearly really interested in putting my monotype discards to use as reinvented images. He’s another.

I see this as a glimpse into an alien home on a planet far from Earth.  This humanoid creature is troubled, looking out into space from a balcony in It’s home. Oh, and It’s wearing a very long sweeping scarf.  The image below is a detail revealing (hopefully), the creature.

Proof that I’m watching too many Star Trek reruns while I make these collages;)

Sketchbook Potential

This sketch originated from another scrap of a ripped up monotype that turned on its side, happens to resemble a face and hat of a fairy tale character.  The rest is improvised. I think it just might turn up again as a fully realized children’s book illustration.

Pause #23

Who Are YoU?

A recognizable style.  Most artists have one or two.  Many work most of their lives mastering one medium.  Often one is a fine artist OR makes commercial work. I know this is rapidly changing. The lines between disciplines are blurring and that thrills me!  While I am not competent in any discipline other than visual art, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy.

I paint portraits, illustrate children’s books, wrote a kid’s book, make fine art, teach, and instruct a creative expression class on a hospital psychiatric floor.  I have painted silk, run workshops, made street art and illustrated brochures. Each endeavour delivers whatever the market will bear monetarily, but all inform and excite me (except for the brochures).

I work in oils, acrylic, digital painting, simple printmaking, silk, and pastel, and play with oil sticks, watercolor, clay, wire, photography, multi media, collage and just about any material I can get my hands on, including beet juice and congealed butter in my dinner plate.

The downside of course, takes me back to my first paragraph;little to no recognizable style. Even within a given medium, I’m inspired to experiment with different ways of working.  I laugh when I look at this blog’s  Illustration Friday archives just after clicking the tab on my Pause Series.   I think I’m still fishing around for one thing that suits me best. In the meantime, expect images of any sort from this blog.  At least my inconsistency will keep us all guessing;)

BIG KIDS Magazine: Interview

Last post was an introduction to the fabulous Big Kids’s Magazine.  This link connects you to the homepage of the BIG blog.

You might say that BIG KIDS Magazine discovered my blog for young artists called  Portrait of a Girl and Her Art.  Lily (one of the creators),  left a wonderful comment and requested that I take a “peek” at the Big Kids blog.  I was instantly entranced by the vision and esthetic beauty of the project and left several comments on her blog.  A lovely cyber connection grew, and I enthusiastically agreed to make a collaborative illustration with a young artist friend of mine for the upcoming “Treasure Map” issue.

It made sense to me that if my excitement was any indication of the success of the up and coming magazine, you all will be excited and interested as well, so  I requested an interview with creators, Lily and Jo and senior editor Luca, to share with all of you:

December 2011

Elena: How do you (Lilly and Jo) know each other?

Lilly: We met when we were both living in Hobart, Tasmania, about 12 years ago but lost touch once I moved to New York and Jo moved to Perth. I had finished studying at art school and Jo had just left Tasdance and was the co-director of the Hobart Fringe Festival on which I was working. We met through a very brave, imaginative and generous mutual friend and while sharing care of her apartment wrote notes to each other on a large piece of brown paper that revealed an unseen poetic and charged connection between us even then. We last saw each other in 1999 but will finally meet and layout the next edition in the same city in January!

ElenaDid you grow up with unplanned time and an aptitude for daydreaming?

Lilly: I spent much of my childhood climbing trees, and one in particular, a liquidambar in our backyard that was the launching pad to witchland – an imaginary place above the clouds I frequented for much of my childhood. I have memories of collecting sticks and flowers and making elaborate installations on tree branches and in hidden parts of our massive garden. I have three siblings and the television was rarely on. We made up shows almost every day and worked on projects and performances that spanned days and weeks. Jo’s mother was a folk singer and they lived across the road from a travelling circus. I know she spent much of her childhood under the next-door neighbours house in a ‘kids’ world, and was surrounded by song.

 Elena:Do you think that the experiences of childhood have changed since your were children?

Lilly: Yes I think when we were kids there was much more time to just be in the world without structure or guidance or expectations of a particular outcome. It feels like even unstructured play has become a commodity or something to be evaluated and assessed. Though I think there are elements of childhood today that are enormously valuable and can be celebrated as well – the access to information and how that inspires inquisitiveness is wonderful: At least 10 times a day Twyla will ask a question I can’t answer and then say “Let’s look it up mum!”. I think there is a danger in romanticizing the past that can diminish the beautiful opportunities for connection and play with our children today.

Elena: Are you both moms, and if so how does being a parent influence the content of the magazine?

 Lilly: We are both mum’s and cannot imagine that we would have made BIG without this grounding, limiting, uplifting and propelling element in our lives to balance and stretch us beyond what seems possible. I think in giving birth and mothering it becomes clear that seemingly impossible things are actually possible. That you can meet a sun rise having not slept at all and still make it through the day.

Elena:You come from different artistic expressions. How has that enriched your collaboration?

Lilly: BIG is a multidisciplinary arts publication and our immersion in different arts practices broadens our base and provides us with a much wider platform to draw from. We are both connected to extraordinary artists working in varied fields and feel that exposing children to many different art languages provides them with a much wider range of investigative and expressive tools.

Elena: I know of so many children and organizations who would adore enjoying a subscription to BIG magazine in the USA, and I hope many will subscribe today! Do you hope/plan to bring the magazine online so that one may subscribe without the shipping expense in the US and other parts of the world?

Lilly: We are in the process of considering a digital version of BIG Kids Magazine so that it is more accessible to International readers. We have received enormous interest in an online option and while we don’t want to dilute the tangible experience of hand held BIG pages, we also want them to be as accessible as possible to distant readers. We are currently looking at international stockists but in the mean time it is encouraging to have received so many overseas subscriptions.

Elena: How about an ipad version?

Lilly: We are very interested in new technology and developing meaningful, interactive, illustrated apps for ipad in the future, though obviously we believe there is enormous value in having an object that can be held, ripped, scribbled on and altered in a very physical and direct way. We are working on some allegorical stories and our Books that Grow series that will most likely be adapted for ipad and other devices.

Do you accept submissions of work from children outside of Australia?

Lilly: Yes we invite and receive contributions from children all over the world. Work that is scanned at 600dpi or high quality photographs can be emailed from anywhere and we are passionate about facilitating both intergenerational and International conversations.

Are there any new projects in the works, together or individually?

Lilly: We have just launched the Mother Artist Network (our new MAN) on our blog to invite discussion and creative response to the challenges of working as a mother-artist.  I have just held an exhibition of new work and Jo is working on a new dance duet. Together we are expanding our collaboration on Books that Grow and we are currently in the middle of making of the next edition of BIG!

Your Facebook page  www.facebook.com/Bigkidsmagazine  is flourishing! How did you get the word out?

Lilly: We honestly just opened the page to our friends and it went from there. We have never pushed or asked for ‘likers’. The magazine has received many wonderful reviews on various blogs and book sites so I think they bring people to us as well.

Economies are suffering worldwide. Why did you decide to launch a new magazine now?

Lilly: Now, more than ever, kids need a place to be able to hone their interest, imagination and the ability to respond to the world in creative and curious ways. We need the next generation to be expansive and out of the box thinkers and see BIG as a way to encourage that leadership and wider view on politics that will feedback back in personal, social and dynamic ways. Yes, it definitely is a risk and nerve-wracking with it, but both Jo and I are seriously committed to engaging kids in best practice and in opening communication lines between artists and kids to foster future thinkers and movers! We are hopeful BIG will attract some best practice creative organizations in the near future and that we will find financial support for our work though contributions from larger voices and structures. We trust the work and each other, somewhat bravely, and believe in generosity as a key stakeholder in future economies.

With each subscription you give away a copy of the magazine. How do you decide where to send it?

Lilly: We are developing partnerships and donating magazines to all kinds of people and organizations that work with children. Sometimes people contact us asking if they can participate in the program, often we will reach out to an organization that we feel might benefit. We love the idea that BIG can be accessible to kids that may not otherwise be able to get hold of it but we are also interested in facilitating relationships and finding mentors who can support children to interact and contribute to the BIG world.

Elena: And now, a word from eight year old senior editor, Luca.

Elena: What do you like to do when youʼve got nothing else you have to do?

Luca: Play with my little sister, play video games, read The Phantom Tollbooth, invent lego and duplo characters and games and stories.

Elena: What is your favorite subject in school?

Luca: Free drawing

Elena: Do other kids know that you are an editor of a magazine?

Luca: Yes, they respect me a lot

Elena: What do you do as an editor?

Luca: Well, make decisions about what goes in the magazine

Elena: Whatʼs your favorite part?

Luca: Being in charge of making decisions

Elena: If you had a magic power, (maybe you already have one) what would you do with it?

Luca: Shift shaping – means you can take the shape of any object, like I could take the shape of a million dollars, I could change into a flower, or massive bumble bee, I would re build the Guilford hotel and save people and stuff like that.

Part 3 tomorrow

Young Artist Sites

This is part of a repost from my blog for young artists.  I thought it might be exciting to share with you some excellent examples of  exemplary online presence and some terrific work by very young artists. Their ages span from pre-teen to young adult.

The sites below are three brilliant examples of what very young visual artists are doing.  The first is Isabella’s beautiful blog.

http://isabellart.wordpress.com

Isabella has created three separate sections for her work. There’s the poetry section, fine art section, and fashion (her own designs).  Isabella regularly posts wonderful works in progress.  You must have a look.

http://eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com  will bring you to Eleanor Leonne Bennett’s website that is full of her fantastic photography.  It is worth every minute you’ll spend on her website, enjoying her work.  I urge you to investigate every photograph.

Kellie See, at kelliesee.wordpress.com  beautifully chronicles her coursework as an art student studying illustration.  On her terrific blog, you’ll find very specific and instructive posts about what she is thinking and working through. This is what Kellie has to say about her blogging experience:

“I think blogging is fantastic. Its such a great opportunity for people to meet others that share similar interests. Since I started blogging I’ve seen some great pieces of work and read the most amazing posts by other bloggers. They are truly an inspiration for me. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me where I can share my work and get real opinions and comments back. This is so useful and is a great way to find out what others think and to also help you decide which direction to take next. The blogging community have been fabulous and they are so friendly which makes my blogging experience all the better. I really wouldn’t be without it. Kellie :) “

Textility

A dear friend, fabric and an intriguing art exhibit.  All came together recently when my friend, who is Exhibitions Manager at the NJ Visual Arts Center, graciously guided me through  Textility, the current exhibit.  The link will take you to a slideshow of the work.

A lovely evening all round.

Play/Pause

(There is now a “Pause” gallery  page on this blog.  The tab above or this click  will take you there.  Clicking on the Behance  Network will take you to an edited “Pause” gallery there as well.)

Now loyal, patient friends, I will tell you in more personal words than you will read in my artist’s statement, what this work is all about, how and why I made it, and why I can’t wait to make more.

Portraits, faces, and captured gestures fascinate me.  I’d love to have the power to pause time and to really understand what I am seeing or witnessing in the face of another.  Naturally, what I may glimpse in a passing gesture or expression runs through my filter and I come away with an impression of an expression. While that process works well enough for most of us, I often wonder just how similar our perceptions are.  I delight in reading expressions. Conversely, I sometimes wonder about the sincerity of an expression.  I find micro expressions captivating.

I am equally enamored with technology that plays with our perceptions. particularly technology that broadens the opportunities for artists. I love my digital camera, computer and my Wacom tablet. These tools help me capture expression in a most immediate and gratifying way. However, I also recognize that the old-fashioned, traditional methods of working feed my need for personal expression in a more intrinsic fashion.

Strange as it may seem, I have also been thinking about fabric.  It is the first and last “material” in the world that literally touches us.  We spend time and dollars searching for garments, home furnishings and bedding that are to are liking. Fabric literally hides us. Fabric is loaded iconography.

The Pause series weaves these three attractions of mine into one project. This the ungarnished process:

I ask a portrait subject to pose for a portrait, and to use the fabric I give them in any way they choose.  I digitally photograph the subject in between “poses”, while the subject is thinking about what to do next with the prop, or before they settle into a new pose.  These resulting images become reference for a traditionally painted oil portrait.  I employ the digital camera again to take photos of the completed oil painting, and then print these photos onto silk fabric.  I manipulate the fabric to present various new isolated expressions and distortions of the subject’s expression. I digitally photograph these manipulations. The work finally culminates in large-scale prints of re-arranged expression.

I must add here that I do get  permission to manipulate the portraits, but the subjects do not know what will happen to their images before the shoot.  Everybody to date has allowed me to proceed with wonderful good humor. Thank you to my subjects.  And thank you to you for your interest and your comments about the project. I have many more portraits in the works and look forward to sharing them with you.

Sneak Peak/New Book- Cover!

VERY soon now, Portrait of a Girl and Her Art will be available in hardcover, paperback and PDF .

I’m working on additional electronic formats.

Very soon I’ll have purchase info ready for one step clicking.

Portrait of a Girl and Her Art  already has a dedicated blog where art tips, exciting interviews with young artists, and submissions of art by young artists will keep the inspiration momentum flowing!  Please visit soon.

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